WVU football: WVU site rebranded, ticket hub is created
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you're into West Virginia University athletics and occasionally peruse the Internet, you might want to check out the birth and rebirth of separate websites.
The official athletic website of the Mountaineers has been rebranded WVUsports.com after the school obtained the domain name to make the switch. It had previously been known as MSNsportsNET.com.
A new conference affiliation provided the opportunity to give the site a fresh look, according to Matt Wells, the assistant athletic director for marketing and sales.
"We thought about it for a while and we thought it was in our best interest to change the name," he said. "We liked our old design, but the timing was right to make this change."
WVU officially joined the Big 12 on July 1, which is around the time WVUsports.com domain name began leading traffic to the old MSNsportsNET.com. The redesigned look soon followed.
Another website Mountaineer fans might find interesting is EERhub.com, a ticket exchange website created by Jason Cantrell, who is an assistant principal at Herbert Hoover.
The Clay County native and WVU grad said he's had the idea to start the website for years. He grew weary of tales of fees from sites like StubHub when fans living just miles apart needed to sell or purchase tickets from one another.
"It's easy to go to the site, click on a game and see the contact information," he said. "There are seating charts right there. It's a common place for Mountaineer fans to sell extras or find a game they want to go to.
"The reception has been positive."
Cantrell personally posts the listings as he receives them and removes them as transactions are completed.
There are no fees and Cantrell doesn't make money from the venture.
The website is not affiliated with West Virginia University, but Cantrell hopes his idea helps fill Mountaineer Field and the Coliseum in the school's inaugural Big 12 season.
"(WVU men's basketball coach Bob) Huggins is always complaining about not filling the stands, but sometimes it is a mid-week game and season-ticket holders need to unload their tickets," Cantrell said. "These days you can just email tickets back and forth, so people can go on EERhub.com, sell the tickets for face value, for less or even just find people to give them away for free.
"Hopefully that'll fill the stands."
That won't be much of an issue on the football side, where Wells says about 37,400 season tickets have been sold. Single-game ticket sales have been suspended for all games, with the exception of the Dec. 1 regular-season finale against Kansas.
Tickets for the Sept. 1 Friends of Coal Bowl against Marshall and the Big 12 opener against Baylor on Sept. 29 sold out in under three hours, Wells said. Single-game tickets could be made available once visiting schools return their allotments.
Big 12 favorite Oklahoma visits Morgantown on Nov. 17. The Sooners requested their full allotment of 3,850 tickets, more than any other conference opponent.
For Wells, this season is a marketing and ticket sales perfect storm.
"There are three things working in our favor," he said. "We're coming off a historic win in the Orange Bowl, scoring 70 points and breaking all those records; you also have the fact that we have a very talented and experienced team coming back; and I think the move to the Big 12 with a very attractive home schedule and new opponents has provided a generally positive outlook overall."
Contact sports editor Chuck McGill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-7949.